University of Nevada, Reno’s Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship Forges Tech Ties with MIT

SPARKS, Nev., September 18, 2015 – The University of Nevada, Reno this week welcomed leading thinkers in engineering and defense from the internationally-renowned Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works, part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. The group toured the University’s Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship, offering important guidance on approaches to cross-disciplinary and project-based academic programs and funding. The event was organized by Fatih and Eren Ozmen of Sparks-based Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), who founded the Ozmen Center in 2014.

“It was great to have the opportunity to share the Beaver Works model and vision,” said Dr. Robert T-I Shin, head of Lincoln Laboratory’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Tactical Systems Division, and director of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works Center.  “Innovation and impact are made through project-based learning, which is at the core of this model. Students work on large-scale projects in partnership with industry.” 

In 2014, Dr. Shin received the Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education, recognizing “significant innovations and improvements to MIT education.”  Dr. Shin and the group discussed similar project-centric educational collaborations connecting the University of Nevada, Reno campus and the Ozmen Center.

Other event attendees included University faculty such as President Marc Johnson, Associate Professor and Economics Department Chair Mehmet Tosun, and Vice President of Research and Innovation Mridul Gautum. Also in attendance were the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Randy Walden, and SNC owners Fatih and Eren Ozmen.  MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, a research and development center, receives funding from the U.S. DOD.

“This meeting was a good first step in developing an important relationship in entrepreneurial education between the engineering program at MIT and the entrepreneurial and engineering programs at the University of Nevada, Reno,” said Chris Howard, executive director of the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship.

The Ozmen Center opened in September 2014 as the result of an endowment from the Ozmens, who are alumni of the University.  The center facilitates entrepreneurship through academics, professional education and training.

About Sierra Nevada Corporation 
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, is among the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Space.” Over the last 30 years, under the leadership of President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen, SNC has become one of America’s fastest-growing private companies and the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. With a workforce of over 3,000 personnel, SNC now has 33 locations in 18 states and business divisions in England, Germany and Turkey. SNC has a reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft and communications systems.

SNC has six unique business areas that are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to its dynamic customer base. SNC has a proven track record of success spanning more than five decades. It is focused on providing its customers with the very best in diversified technologies and continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements in dual-use applications and outside acquisitions including the emerging markets of telemedicine, Cyber, net-centric operations and commercial airlines.

For more information on SNC visit and follow us at Facebook/Sierra Nevada Corporation. Sierra Nevada Corporation and SNC are trademarks of Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Ayse Caglar

Vice President